From the old Roman name Acquas Partas
because of its position between the rivers of the Amerino and the Furipane in the Naia valley
Acquasparta is very well situated in southern Umbria and for anyone wishing to explore the treasures that this area has to offer the discerning tourist, one of the primary roadways of Umbria the E45 Super Strada is only 5 minutes from the town and Acquasparta also has its own railway station. Rome is 100km south,an hours drive if you are brave enough, but the train from Terni is far easier and only takes from 50 mins into the heart of Rome. Terni is only 15 minutes from Acquasparta.
The capital city of Umbria, Perugia is only 40 mins away by car, with its magnificent medieval centre, fantastic shopping, restaurants, cathedrals and churches it is a must see for any visitor to this region, it is by far our favourite city in Umbria and Tuscany. Todi is another fine Umbrian hill town and is only 15 mins away. Another one of our favourite places is Spoleto, 30 mins by car over the beautiful Monti Martani mountain range. It hosts a music festival in June and is a very beautiful town with some fantastic restaurants, although we must say it is quite full of scaffolding as most on the city seems to be under renovation.
Per il sito web ufficiale per favore vai alla www.comune.acquasparta.tr.it
Acquasparta, a small town of population approx. 5000 and is situated very close to the better known towns and cities of Todi, Spoleto, Perugia and Terni, to name but a few. It is a vibrant, alive town with a good range of restaurants, bars and shops and also a good mix of age groups and families.
It is thought that its name derives from the latin Ad Acquas Partas because of its position between the rivers of the Amerino and the Furipane in the Naia valley. Situated on a hill at 350 m above sea level the town faces the Monti Martani mountain range, Acquasparta dominates the valley of the Naia river, a tributary of the Tiber river. Because of its mineral waters from the Amerino and Furapane , Acquasparta is at very pleasant and accessible place to stay.
First knowledge of Acquasparta goes back to the end of the 8th century AD (circa 990), when it entered the Arnolfe lands with Cesi and Sangemini under jurisdiction of the Farfa abbey and of the bishops from Todi in 1278, In 1517 it passes under direct government of the Church. During fueds between the Guelfics and Ghibellines Acquasparta suffered heavy devastation. In 1588 Acquasparta became a dukedome and Federci Cesi its first Duke. His son Federico Cesi II established in the ducal palace the first European Scientific Academy which hosted many famous scientists, among them Galileo Galilei.
The Roman ruins of Carsulae are located along the original Roman road the Via Flaminia, an important communication road of the Empire which joined Rome to the Adriatic sea. This Roman municipality which was founded after the opening of the important consular road (circa 3rd Century BC) was enlarged afterwards not only because of its favourable position along the Flaminia but also due to the beauty of the place, mentioned by Tacitus and Plinio il Giovane and is only 5 mins by car and well worth a visit. And remember all the drives are through the stunning countryside of Italy’s green heart, Umbria.
When you drive into Acquasparta you will arrive at the “centro storico”, which still mantains its medieval structure of narrow streets and alleys together with a renaissance style square and building. The main piazza is Piazza Federico Cesi, which has just (August 2006) been fully restored. Inside the old part of town, the principal building of note is the Renaissance style Palazzo Cesi, started in 1564 and completed in 1579 by the architect Giovanni Domenico Bianchi. The Palazzo is owned by the University of Perugia and is in improving condition.
Acquasparta is home to a number of churches, including the San Francesco, built in 1290, essentially Romanesque but with a Gothic architecture façade, and the Church of the Madonna of the Cross, (Church of the Cross), dating to 1606. The Church of the Sacred Sacrament, incorporating a Roman Mosaic in its floor, is a very good example of 17th century church architecture.
It is rooted on the double meaning of its name, not only a Renaissance as an historical period, but also as a revival of the ancient glory of Acquasparta, and as a real re-discovery of those personal relations on which the community found it’s peacefulness and well-being.
For ten days Acquasparta is divided geographically into three areas, called Contrade. The Contrada del Ghetto with black and green banners, the Contrada di Porta Vecchia with yellow and blue banners and the Contrada di San Cristoforo with white and blue banners. The Contrade compete to get the towns keys after having challenged each other in four different challenges of entertainment, Gastronomy, Lince’s Palio (competitions on horseback) and Snakes and Ladders, (Not the board game as such but the same idea, played out on a playing field !!)
Each contrada, in their own taverna, recreate typical local recipes of the 17th century which make up the gastronomy competition and a jury must judge on the flavour and presentation of the dishes from the period. Each night during the festival all three Taverne are open to the public and you can re-discover old fashioned dishes cooked and served by locals for very little money.
The 3 Contrade insignia
Each of the contrade put on an evening of amusement, that is to say the Entertainment Competition, which is judged by a special jury. The historical plays are performed by the locals who dedicate their time to the re-creation of the 17th century ambiance to honour the Cesi family and in particular Federico Cesi’s life, Duke of the town and founder of the Lincei’s Academy. Finally the three contrade compete in a horse tournament, the Lince’s Palio and in a living version of the board game Snakes and Ladders. These games are held on the last day of the festival and the representatives of the three contrade will compete in ability and deftness tests, in amusing games, trying to get the highest score for their own contrada.
Thus “Il Rinascimento ad Acquasparta” is a festival of re-discovered historical, artistic and culinary traditions and also of new friendships, held in the beautiful surroundings of the medieval town with all the playfulness of a healthy competition.
The phrase, taken from a poem by Giosuè Carducci, the subject of which is not Umbria but rather a specific small place in it, the source of the Clitunno river, treasured since Antiquity as a beauty spot.
It is to a certain extent appropriate since the modern administrative region is the only one to have neither a coast nor a border with a foreign country, and, except for August and September, is notoriously green.
Umbria ( pronounced OOmbreea !) is a small region of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany to the west, La Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. The region covers 8,456 km² and has a population of 834,000 (2003 census). The region is named for the Umbri tribe, who settled in the region in the 6th century BC. Their language was Umbrian, a relative of Latin.
The modern region of Umbria, however, is essentially a different region of Italy than that bearing the same name in Roman, which extended through most of what is now the northern Marche, to Ravenna, but excluded the west bank of the Tiber. Umbria is mostly hilly or mountainous. Its relief is dominated by the Apennines to the east — accounting for the highest point in the region at the summit of Mt. Vettore on the border of La Marche (2476 m = 8123 ft) — and the Tiber valley basin, accounting for the lowest point at Attigliano (96 m = 315 ft).
Cooking in Umbria is varied: meat, fish, cereals, vegetables, spices, and herbs are equally important. Umbrian cooking is described as rustic or poor, We think a better description is a clever use of fantastic seasonal produce to produce wonderful dishes.
Whole roast pig, called Porchetta here in Umbria is a speciality, the pig is stuffed with herbs and seasoning’s and spit roasted. You will come across ‘Porchetta vans’ everywhere in Umbria, by the side of the road, at any market day, any public event and also shops. You can buy the porchetta by weight or more common get a panino stuffed with the wonderfully succulent meat. If you are not too fond of fat or a watching your diet just ask for a panino ‘magro’.
In Umbria, as in most of Italy, they tend to use only produce that is is season, this means that you are getting food that tastes as it should, and when things come into season it is a joy and a pleasure to look forward to. Pasta of course forms the primo of most Italian meals, and in Umbria we have lots of different kinds of pasta that you wont find on your supermarket shelves. As far as we have found every town and area have a speciality pasta, and each must be served with certain sauces. In Acquasparta and around this area we have a few, the main one is called Ciriole, a kind of thicker spaghetti and also one called picchiarelli, which is typically served in the Taverne during local ‘Sagra’ or festivals both are normally served with a tomato sauce and pecorino cheese.
Soups are also very popular and include “pasta e fagioli” made with pasta and beans, flavoured with pork as well as the famous “scafata” soup made with lentils from Norcia. Another very special Umbrian food is the “torta al testo”, a hand made bread prepared with water, flour, salt, pepper and olive oil, cooked on a special marble stone in a wood burning oven. Torta al Testo, which you will also find on the menus at the festivals, is stuffed with ham, cheese, sausage or simply with herbs prepared in olive oil.
Olive oil production, as wine production, has been an important economic resource since Etruscan Times in Umbria. The Umbrian region with its hills, grounds, and climate allow the olive trees to grow and produce superior quality olives with low acidity. The rich and at the same time light taste are the guarantee of a level of quality very elevated and certified by the denominations D.O.P. D.O.C. D.O.C.G. that the largest majority of the producers of the region have earned.
In the last ten years, biological cultivation techniques have spread over the fertile land of producers caring for the saving of the environment and for the quality of products such as the Umbrian ones.
The extra virgin olive oil from Umbria suits the simple, genuine and delicious Umbrian food.
The olive oil from Assisi, Spoleto, Colli Martani, Colli Amerini, Colli del Trasimeno and Colli Orvietani carries the special “Umbria” label. Tourists may also visit the museum of olive civilisation in the city of Trevi, showcasing ancient tools used in olive oil production.
The Umbrian landscape and climate make the cultivation of vineyards easier than in other parts of Italy. Clay ground and rich spring-waters have been the base of high quality wines since the time of antiquity. A wide range of wines are produced in Umbria including several special DOC and DOCG wines.
Orvieto – Since Etruscan times, this wine has been produced and preserved in tufa caves. Today it is an excellent dry sweet white wine.
Torgiano – This recent production area is specialised in rosé, red wines and spumante.
Montefalco – This wine was produced during Roman Times under the name of “Itriola”. Later it was replaced by “Sagrantino” a world famous wine. A dry red and a “Passito” (raisin wine) is also produced here.
Assisi - Also this area (Perugia, Assisi, Spello) is good for producing red, white and rosé wines. Famous are “Grechetto” and the “Novello”.
Trasimeno – This is a special area of Umbria. Lake Trasimeno, with its climate and hills exposed to the sun, facilitates the production of red and white wines.
Colli Perugini – This area was exploited by the Etruscans and the Romans. The zone continued on the right side of the Tiber, south of Perugia.
Acquasparta is a great base for exploring Umbria, many beautiful and exciting towns and cities are only a short drive away. Located very close are Perugia, Todi, Terni, Spoleto, Assisi and Orvieto to name but a few beautiful towns and cities in southern Umbria.
This small hill town is only a couple of kilometres from Acquasparta, it sits nestled in the mountains and is a lovely little place which still maintains the characteristics of a medieval village. There are beautiful peaceful walks up into the mountains as long as you don’t mind hills, and a few nice restaurants dotted around. The views from the town are really nice.
Cesi is the next town further on up the mountain, it sits nearly at the top, the the views are simply breathtaking. There is not much in Cesi but it is worth a visit even just for the view across the valley.
The Roman ruins of Carsulae just about 5km from Acquasparta are located along the original Roman road the Via Flaminia, an important communication road of the Empire which joined Rome to the Adriatic sea. This Roman municipality which was founded after the opening of the important consular road (circa 3rd Century BC) was enlarged afterwards not only because of its favourable position along the Flaminia but also due to the beauty of the place, mentioned by Tacitus and Plinio il Giovane. They are well worth a visit.
Todi, town and commune of the Province of Perugia, Umbria in Italy. It is perched on a tall two-breasted hill overlooking the east bank of the Tiber, commanding distant views in every direction and only 20km from Acquasparta. Almost all Todi’s main medieval monuments, the Duomo, the Palazzo del Capitano, the Palazzo del Priore and the Palazzo del Popolo, front on the main square on the lower breast of the hill, the piazza is thus one of the most picturesque in Italy and is often used as a movie set. The whole landscape is sited over some huge ancient Roman cisterns, with more than 500 pits, which remained in use until 1925. Todi is a favourite with American tourists and a stunning large town.
About 7km from Acquasparta lies San Gemini, a well restored and picturesque town with a large piazza.
Casa Lilla Bed and Breakfast and Vacation apartment rental is in the heart of Acquasparta. It is a beautiful old (mid 1800′s) 3 story town house built onto the old town walls of Acquasparta. Every bedroom has digital satellite TV, DVD player, alarm clock radio, hair-dryer, individually controlled central heating and all our rooms have new en-suite bathrooms fully tiled and each with double size power showers.
Located in the town:
MARTINI: Via G.Marconi 26 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943696
VILLA STELLA: Via G.Marconi 37 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 930758
AZALEE: Via Tiberina, 31/33, Acquasparta – 05021 Tel: (+39) 0744 930941
Located outside the town:
HOLIDAY HILL: Loc. Selvarelle Alte – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 941061
IL TESORO. Agriturismo Country Inn.
Loc. Configni – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR)
Tel: (+39) 0744-943334
Fax: (+39) 0744-944588
AGRIMANNI. Via Campagna , 188 – Loc. Federco Bianco – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943818 – 339 7271285
TENUTA ASTOLFI. Loc. Malacina 13 Portaria – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 348 – 3940929
SANTOMANNO. Loc. Sant’ Umano – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 813403
Casa Lilla bed and breakfast. Via IV Novembre, 29, Acquasparta, 05021, (TR)
Tel: (+39) 0744 930754, Cell: (+39) 334 2121 646
LA CASA NELL’OLIVETO. Via Campagna 194 F – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943480
IL CASALETTO. V. Campagna 162 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 930621
IL GIARDINO SEGRETO. C.so dei Lincei 13 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943683
ELISA. Str. E. Parri 5 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 930038
OSTELLO DI S. FRANCESCO. Via S. Francesco 1 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943167
CASTELLO DI CASIGLIANO. Loc. Casigliano – P.zza Corsini, 1 – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 943428
LA LEGGENDA DEL LAGO. Loc. Casigliano – 05027 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 0744 – 941073
LA PESCARA. Loc. Campagna 19 – Fr. Piedimonte – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 075 5009023
LA VALLE DEL SOFFIO CANTIERE d’ARTI. V. della Rocca – Loc. Lo Scoppio – 05021 – Acquasparta (TR) – Tel: (+39) 339.612.5233 / 349.512.1385